Have been thinking a bit about this during the week, and especially so having just dropped my daughter off at the wharf to go sailing with her classmates on the Spirit of New Zealand for the next five days or so. The Smiggle bit made me smile, and I could imagine having this conversation in the article with any of my children.
At a profound level, she was absolutely correct. I’m nothing without her. All children change their parents’ lives to the extent that sometimes they replace it. After the birth of his eldest child, poet C.K. Stead wrote that enduring line, “I do not want my life back.” We serve to protect them. They become the central fact of our existence. Food, warmth, love, junk from Smiggle – we break our backs to shovel it their way, and hope they say nice things about us after we’re gone.